Please note, this is a copy of the post in our FDOL community space where this was originally posted. Up to now, I wasn’t sure where to post my reflections but I have no decided to add them to my personal space and hope that you will stop by if you are participating in this course and also comment.
I am also including the comments made there, just to keep things together. But I have anonymised these. If anybody is unhappy for me to use them here, please let me know as soon as possible and I will remove immediately. Thank you.
We wanted everything to go well and tried to close any loop holes along the way. It was really good to have a team of 4 working closely together as the time progressed and exchange ideas and agree a way forward. We use another Google + community to communicate with each other but also store documents in Google docs and Dropbox. On top of this, I communicate with Lars via Facebook using the private messaging feature there. Why I am sharing all that with you? I think it is might be useful for others to find out how we communicate in the background with each other and that co-ordination is really important. There are a number of tools we are using and this can be challenging at times and we are asking ourselves: Do we really need all these tools? The Google tools have given us flexibility and we can get in touch with each other on the go,which I think is a big bonus. The same way we are using this community here.
One thing I would like to reflect on is the orientation webinar. I thought we had worked it all out, I had tested the link BUT, and there is a big but, I didn’t test to upload the presentation in advance and assumed that it would be work as I have used Blackboard Collaborate many times before. Well, I logged in 1 hour in advance and soon discovered that we had a problem. I messaged Lars and he was there is seconds. Tried to upload the presentation from his end but it didn’t work. I was getting frustrated with myself and didn’t really know how to resolve this.Together with Lars we started exploring various options, such as sharing desktop, uploading the presentation to Google doc and open it from there but nothing was ideal as we would loose the whiteboard interactivity!!! In the end we decided to go for the editing view and shared desktop so that I could also see participants and the chat. I couldn’t believe what was happening. All these months! All that hard work and now I was not able to upload the presentation… anyway, Lars helped me to calm down, he is really good at this!!! and we started on time. Looking back and after a short conversation with all PBL facilitators that evening when we reflected on the webinar and how it went, I felt that I survived and that we need now to make sure that it doesn’t happen again. We didn’t have any technical support during the webinar and I think this is something that can be very handy when things like that happen… but what do we do if it is not available?
I will stop here as this post is getting very long and will wait for others to comment.
Comments received via the FDOL Google community:
“Hi all! Well like I mentioned in my presentation this is a challenge for me to work with social media. It took me a while to join Google+ and now I also have a twitter account. I know that several educations are using different platforms in their teaching and thought I might be more interactive with my students on the internet for example ping pong. The thing is it takes lots of time to just check what is going on and read all comments and also try and reflect and puts comments myself. I have difficulties seeing that I will have this time for my teaching since I am mostly in the clinic with my students and since I am responsible for a group of patients who really fill my day my teaching will also cover the evenings. This I can accept for a period of time like now but not all the time. We all need some free time and time with our families.
How do you all work it out? I love working close to people and have meetings with patients, colleagues and students in real life and I do not want to communicate through social media all the time.
“My initial reflection was – Wow How am I going to get my head around all of these tools etc. I am aware of some of the tools but never used them and this caused me some initial anxiety (and excitement!). I have recently acquired an Ipad and wanted to see if this would work for the webinar. I downloaded the app and was ready to go. Unfortunately I found a problem with speaking and adding to the whiteboard but found the webinar very useful. I have used collaborate once before and find this a useful resource for working together. I am looking forward to the PBL sessions and will be interested to see how this works as I have only completed PBL face-to-face. I did pick up the ‘PBL online’ book (I have added this resource to Diigo) and am reading this in readiness….”
“I’m finding the first week difficult due to other work/personal commitments and was away for a long weekend with no internet access. It did make me consider the relevance and importance of online and offline resources when studying at a distance: the possibility of downloading content to view when away from my umbilical WiFi at work or home. I have also created a Google+ account as I previously did not have one. Traditionally I’ve fostered a division between my social networking presence and my professional life in the belief that I did not want to blur the boundaries. I’m aware I’m still doing this on the FDOL course as Google+ will only be a professional resource. My Twitter is a ‘locked’ account and covers issues of interest outside of my professional life so I’m considering creating a different Twitter account and having another presence online.. multiple personalities.. how to manage these? Raising interesting questions for me already :o)”
“On Monday evening the 20th I was trying hard to find my group members on the net. But without that muck of results. I stayed om the working place on Google + between 7 and 8 and saw 1, 2 and 3 anonymous persons watching the same site. I asked some questions on the chat but no answers. This experience makes me ask whether or not I was on the right place? And an other question: is this conversation the place to communicate?”